Perkins Coie attorneys work with public and private sector clients to navigate the environmental review process for major infrastructure projects. We draw upon decades of experience to provide practical, insightful advice at every stage and, when needed, defend project approvals against litigation challenges.

Our attorneys routinely work on complex infrastructure projects that face difficult environmental and permitting challenges. We have assisted project developers on such projects including:

  • Renewable and conventional energy projects
  • LNG terminals
  • High-speed rail projects
  • Electricity and natural gas transmission lines
  • Water storage and supply projects
  • Marine terminals
  • Flood control projects
  • Projects on Native American lands
  • Airports
  • Highway and public transportation projects

Strategic Counsel During Environmental Review and Permitting Process

Most major infrastructure projects often require preparation of an environmental impact statement (EIS) as well as compliance with a host of other environmental review and permitting laws. Working collaboratively with our clients and their consultant teams, we help achieve timely completion of the environmental review process while maintaining legal compliance and defensibility.

We have deep experience with the many federal and state laws that govern the environmental review and permitting process for major infrastructure projects, including:

  • National Environmental Quality Act (NEPA)
  • National Historic Preservation Act
  • Migratory Bird Treaty Act
  • Clean Air Act
  • Federal Land Policy and Management Act
  • Clean Water Act
  • National Forest Management Act
  • Coastal Zone Management Act
  • Native American Law and Policy
  • Bald and Golden Eagle Protection Act
  • CEQA and state environmental review and permitting laws

Regulatory and Project Counsel

We routinely work with clients to review NEPA documents and other reports for legal sufficiency and to build a strong administrative record. We also work collaboratively with our clients to resolve disagreements with regulatory agencies, integrate environmental reviews with other regulatory requirements, comply with new legal and regulatory requirements, and adapt compliance strategies to reflect changes in the client’s business objectives.

In addition to our experience with environmental requirements, we are well versed in related legal requirements and business considerations that are critical to the success of our clients’ projects. Our breadth of knowledge in fields ranging from energy and transportation regulation to public-private partnerships adds practicality, focus and value to the recommendations we make.

As counsel to project sponsors, we have extensive experience working with federal regulatory and decision-making agencies and their state counterparts, including the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the Bureau of Land Management, the U.S. Forest Service, the Bureau of Reclamation, the Federal Highway Administration, the Federal Transit Administration, the Federal Railroad Administration and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission.

Litigation Defense of Project Approvals

When project approvals are challenged, we provide the strongest possible advocacy and litigation defense. We have a track record of successfully defending major development projects in federal and state courts and before administrative tribunals. We also have successfully negotiated complex, multiparty settlement agreements with environmental, historic preservation, and community groups to resolve or avoid litigation challenging project approvals under NEPA and other laws.

Infrastructure Development Leadership

Many Perkins Coie attorneys are recognized leaders in the fields of law that govern project development, and many have previously served in senior positions at state and federal agencies, including the U.S. Department of Justice, U.S. Department of the Interior, U.S. Department of Transportation and U.S. Department of Agriculture.

With a bench of more than 80 Environment, Energy & Resources practice attorneys and a nationwide infrastructure project portfolio, we can address the full spectrum of issues facing any project. We marshal efficient and cost-effective resources to advance our clients' scheduling and economic objectives. Our attorneys regularly work with key government officials at the regional, state and local levels, as well as with the federal agencies and congressional committees in Washington, D.C. that oversee the regions.